Rich Galen

People are frightened about economic news they can't even understand (Oh, no! Credit Default Swaps for Greek Sovereign Debt are on the rise!);

Afghanistan is seen as a necessary, but never-ending, war;

and on and on.

The danger to the nation is not whether Republicans or Democrats control the House or Senate (or both); nor is it whether Obama wins a second term. The danger to the Republic is we have lost confidence in our political institutions to solve anything.

In spite of the amount of time and effort which has been expended by the White House and Congress on a financial overhaul bill, it has so little impact on real life that even the Washington Post consigned the story that there are now probably enough votes in the Senate for passage to page 9.

Page one included a story about a New Jersey man who is one of the 1.4 million Americans who have been out of work for at least 99 weeks.

That is what is at the base of American uncertainty: We all live with the fearful knowledge that we are but one phone call to "drop by the boss' office next Friday afternoon" away from joining the ranks of the unemployed.

The stanza about Senators and Congressmen ends with these lines: There's a battle outside and it's ragin'; It will soon shake your windows and rattle your walls;

For the times, they are a'changin.

They would all do well to heed the call.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at